Facility Rules and Policies

To ensure your safety while visiting and protect your National Wildlife Refuge and the wildlife inhabiting it, please be mindful of and abide by all laws, rules, and regulations during your visit. If you are unsure if an activity is allowed, please contact the Refuge by calling (435) 723-5887 or emailing us at bearriver@fws.gov.

General Refuge Regulations
  • The auto tour route, Wetland Wonders trail, and Marsh Meander trail are open from sunrise to sunset, 365 days of the year.
  • The auto tour route is one-way only. Signs indicate correct direction of travel.
  • The speed limit is 25 mph unless otherwise posted.
  • Legally licensed motor vehicles are allowed only on Refuge roads open to the public. Unlicensed off-highway vehicles (OHVs) may not be used anywhere on the Refuge.
  • Off-road vehicle travel is prohibited.
  • Hiking, walking, jogging, bicycling, and other similar activities are permitted only on roadways, parking areas, and trails that are open for public use.
  • Dogs must be under the direct control of a responsible person at all times.
  • Parking is allowed only in designated areas. Please be mindful of other visitors and do not block access to roadways, parking lots, or kiosks.
  • Wildlife observation and photography are allowed only from designated trails, the auto tour route, and designated vehicle pullouts and parking areas.
  • Lighting of fires or campfires, and fireworks are prohibited.
  • Camping or overnight parking, including RVs, is prohibited.
  • Target shooting, including using air rifles and archery equipment, is prohibited.
  • Persons possessing, transporting, or carrying firearms on National Wildlife Refuge System lands must comply with all provisions of State and local law. Persons may only use (discharge) firearms in accordance with Refuge regulations (50 CFR 27.42 and specific refuge regulations in 50 CFR Part 32).
  • Recreational boating is allowed only on the Bear River. The Refuge provides access to the Bear River from one boat ramp located at the site of the Historic Duckville Gun Club. This ramp is indicated on Refuge brochures, maps, and kiosks.
  • Takeoff or landing of any aircraft including drones or unmanned aircraft systems is prohibited.
  • Littering is prohibited. Litter can cause harm or death to wildlife. Please help keep your Refuge beautiful and protect wildlife by taking all trash and personal belongings with you when you leave!
  • Fishing is allowed on the Refuge in accordance with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources regulations and bag limits in designated areas along the Bear River and in canals and wetlands. Please review the Refuge Fishing Brochure for fishing specific rules and regulations.
  • Waterfowl and pheasant hunting are permitted in accordance with both federal and Utah Division of Wildlife Resources regulations and bag limits in designated areas. Please review the Refuge Hunting brochure for hunting specific rules and regulations.
Hunting Regulations

For all hunting related information please refer to the Refuge's hunting brochure and Utah State Regulations. For more information on Utah State hunting licenses, seasons and regulations, check out the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources website.  In addition to general Refuge regulations, here are some important reminders for a safe and enjoyable hunting experience:

  • Waterfowl and pheasant hunting is allowed on the Refuge only in designated hunting areas during the appropriate season.
  • Pheasant hunting is allowed only in areas already open for waterfowl hunting.  
  • Current Federal and State regulations for seasons, hours, bag and possession limits apply. Consult the Utah Upland Game Proclamation for more details.
  • Hunters must have a valid Utah hunting or combination license in their possession. A digital “e-license” is sufficient for this purpose. In addition, waterfowl hunters aged 16 and older must possess a signed federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, commonly known as a Duck Stamp.
  • Hunters may enter the Refuge two hours prior to legal sunrise, and must exit the Refuge within two hours of legal sunset.
  • Hunting is prohibited within 100 yards of any publicly accessible roadway, observation platform, the D line dike, or parking area.
  • Hunting is prohibited within 200 yards of any occupied structure structure
    Something temporarily or permanently constructed, built, or placed; and constructed of natural or manufactured parts including, but not limited to, a building, shed, cabin, porch, bridge, walkway, stair steps, sign, landing, platform, dock, rack, fence, telecommunication device, antennae, fish cleaning table, satellite dish/mount, or well head.

    Learn more about structure
    including the Refuge maintenance shop.
  • Hunters are expected to maintain a sufficient distance between closed hunting units and themselves to allow for the retrieval of birds. Retrieval of birds by hunters or dogs in closed areas is prohibited.
  • Dogs must always be under the direct control of a responsible person.
  • Shotgun shells are considered litter.  Please pack all trash out with you.
  • Use or possession of alcoholic beverages while hunting is prohibited.
  • Commercial guiding and outfitting is prohibited.
  • Entering closed areas, even for the purpose of retrieving downed birds is prohibited.
  • Hunting any wildlife species aside from coot, duck, goose, pheasant, and tundra swan is prohibited.
  • Entering the hunt units prior to opening day of hunting season is prohibited.
Hunting Regulations Table
SpeciesSeason DatesOther Regulations
Coots, ducks, geeseState season and regulations apply.
  • Closed for spring and extended season goose hunts.
  • Shotgun hunting only. Non-toxic shot required.
Tundra SwansState season and regulations apply.
  • Requires a Utah swan permit in addition to state hunting license.
  • Shotgun hunting only. Non-toxic shot required
PheasantsState season and regulations apply.
  • May not hunt or take pheasants with a shotgun capable of holding more than three shells.
  • Shotgun hunting only. Non-toxic shot required.
ADA Hunt Blind Information

For a trial basis during the 2022-23 waterfowl hunt season, Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge is changing how reservations are made for hunt blinds.  The current reservation process has become increasingly challenging and lengthy with limited staffing capacity.

Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge is changing its accessible hunt blind reservation system to mirror the state’s system of first-come, first-served hunt blind use. This new system will allow for same- and next-day use without having to wait for staff to return emails or calls. As in the past, the accessible hunt blind is available to hunters with physical challenges as defined by the State of Utah’s Division of Wildlife Resources. The first-come, first-served hunt blind system will also provide an opportunity for more hunters to use the blind on a given day. For example, one hunter may use the blind in the morning and another hunter may use the blind in the afternoon or evening. If you wish to use the accessible blind, you can see if the blind is in use by referencing a new indicator sign located at the beginning of the Auto Tour prior to it becoming one-way. Hunters will need to manually switch the sign to indicate that it is occupied to ensure an undisrupted hunt and switch the sign back when they leave.


Due to safety concerns, the hand-powered public boat winches on the H-line levee, which facilitated waterfowl hunting access by boat from the H-line canal into Unit 3B, have been removed. This action was taken to prevent possible injuries were the winch to fail or be used improperly. Boats can still utilize the levee crossing, but no winches will be provided. Together, the Refuge and partners are working toward a solution for the 2023-24 waterfowl season that will provide safe access for a variety of boat types. 

  • No boats of any kind or paddleboards are allowed on the Refuge outside of the waterfowl hunting season. 
  • Boats are allowed on the Bear River. 
  • The Bear River may be accessed from the Refuge at the Duckville Parking Lot.
  • Motorboats are permitted in all hunt units during waterfowl hunting season.
  • During waterfowl hunting season, boats including canoes, kayaks, and other self-propelled watercraft may be launched only at designated boat ramps.
  • During waterfowl hunting season, air boats are permitted only in open areas of Unit 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10. (see map)
Fishing Areas and Regulations

Fishing is allowed in designated areas accessible from West Forest Street along Reeder Canal, Whistler Canal, “O” Line Canal, Duckville Parking Lot, and the Auto Tour Route entrance, as indicated on the map.  Fishing west of the auto tour route gate is allowed in designated areas from sunrise to sunset.  See Fishing Brochure for map.

  • Access to designated fishing areas is walk-in only. Driving off road is prohibited.
  • Fishing from Refuge bridges and water control structures is prohibited.
  • Fishing outside of designated areas is prohibited.
  • Littering is prohibited. Pack out all trash including bait, fishing line, and hooks.
  • Boat access is only allowed at designated boat ramps on the Bear River.
Normas sobre pesca en el Refugio

Se puede pescar de conformidad con las normas del estado de Utah. Consulte la Declaración sobre Pesca de Utah, disponible en el Centro de educación sobre vida silvestre del Refugio y en http://wildlife.utah.gov/guidebooks/Consulte el folleto de pesca para ver el mapa.

  • Se puede pescar en áreas designadas a tal fin, a las que se podrá acceder desde West Forest Street, sobre Reeder Canal, Whistler Canal, “O” Line Canal, Duckville Parking Lot y la entrada del camino para recorrido en automóvil, según se indica en el mapa.
  • Al oeste de la puerta de entrada del camino para recorrido en automóvil se puede pescar desde el amanecer hasta la puesta del sol en áreas designadas a tal fin.
  • A las áreas de pesca designadas solo puede accederse a pie. Está prohibido conducir fuera del camino.
  • Está prohibido pescar desde los puentes y estructuras de control de aguas del Refugio.
  • Está prohibido pescar fuera de las áreas designadas.
  • Está prohibido arrojar basura. Retire toda la basura, incluidos cebos, líneas de pesca y anzuelos,en paquetes.
  • El acceso de botes solo está permitido en las rampas para botes designadas sobre Bear River.